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“Piece of Paradise”
Review of Tapir Lodge

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Tapir Lodge
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Piece of Paradise”
Reviewed August 14, 2013

Tapir lodge was highly organized and our Guide - Diego was excellent. Passionate about the jungle, animals and well versed in the local ecology. The other part that was great was Rahul the cook - being vegetarians - he cooked up some of the best meals we have had - that too in the middle of the jungle. We were well taken care off, our trip was planned to explore all aspects of the Amazon and we had the luck to see many many animals - including pink river dolphins. There are a lot of choices, however Tapir lodge excelled in its guide, food, location and catering to all our need and expectations. The best part for our kids was the swim in the lagoon, while for the adults it was the canoe ride in torrential rain.

Would suggest you travel to amazon in June - Oct during the rainy season as this is when the animals, trees are at their best. It gives you an immense appreciation for the jungle and our responsibility for the planet.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank TravelEyesWide0pen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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66 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (5)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed January 9, 2013

Our stay at Tapir Lodge what a truly wonderful experience. The 3 hour trip on the Cuyabeno River to get there was the beginning of an exciting and memorable week-long stay. We spent our days walking in the forest, gliding on the river, visiting the lake and exploring the wonderful natural environment of the virgin rain forest that surrounded us. We spent two nights camping on the river, and it was an experience not to be forgotten. Kurt, owner and our guide, never failed to get excited when he spotted another bird, insect, reptile or orchid. His knowledge of the forest and its residents enriched our experience and allowed us to see many things that were hidden to us. And, by the way, the food and lodging was great!!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Jan B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tapirlodge, Owner at Tapir Lodge, responded to this review, January 14, 2013
Thanks you so much for your review and I hope to welcome you again in our lodge soon !
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
caremanager99
Level Contributor
24 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed August 14, 2012

I really did not know what to expect when I booked my trip to the Tapir Lodge...and for sure this experience was unique and and one I will never forget. Kurt, who owns Tapir and was our guide is an amazing individual...immediately, he made all of us feel at home. His energy and enthusiasm is contagious...on our hikes, we saw an amazing numbers of wildlife from tarantulas in the bar area to pink dolphins to bats coming alive at sunset to anacondas at the river's edge.

Our hikes were exciting in that I felt that I was in an area where no one had been before. Whether it was slogging through deep mud to night hikes to very early (like 6 AM early) trips up the Cuyabeno River watching the birth of a new day, each and every experience was special.

We visited a small village, spoke to a shaman, and dug up cassava root which we grated and prepared to make cassava bread over an open fire. Truly, a fascinating time.

Back at the lodge at the end of a tiring day, the meals were excellent...great soups, entrees, and desserts all presented beautifully, tasty, and very healthy. Timothy, who was working at the lodge this summer serenaded us with his guitar. He is an amazing, hard working young man.

All of us staying at he lodge (we were only 11) became "family" at once. We exchanged stories, helped each other on hikes. and we were all impressed with Kurt's knowledge, sensitivity, and caring nature...

Thank you Kurt for making this journey so memorable!

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled solo
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Helpful?
2 Thank caremanager99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Raleigh, North Carolina
Level Contributor
14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed August 9, 2012

Having stayed at many rainforest lodges during my years as a tour guide, I was very much looking forward to my visit to the Cuyabeno as a guest of the Tapir Lodge. I was not disappointed. On the contrary, the lodge's facilities set it apart. It is unique in Amazonia in giving visitors the opportunity to sleep high in the treetops, soothed by the endless mysterious night jungle sounds.

The towers are sturdily built, and aside from the view across the treetops and the river below, I would not have thought I was four stories up in the rainforest canopy.

The rooms are comfortable and big enough for two people's belongings. Beds have mosquito nets which make for a romantic atmosphere. Bugs are not really a problem, with little to no malaria in the region. Each room has its own bathroom with hot showers. One morning the showers were cold because the pilot light had gone out, but that was a minor inconvenience.

The food is excellent, with fresh tropical fruits as a starter or dessert for almost every meal. The lodge's cook "Conejo" (Rabbit), is a true talent, able to turn out delicious dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. He was happy to accommodate one of our fellow guests with vegetarian options. Unlike staff of some other lodges I have stayed at, the staff at Tapir Lodge were consistently cheerful, helpful and genuinely interested in their "gringo" guests. Their attitude made our stay even more pleasurable.

An important feature of the lodge is the emphasis on sustainability. Although Tapir Lodge has electricity and hot water showers, all power is provided by batteries charged by solar panels, while waste is treated in a biodigestor.

Special mention goes to our host Kurt Beate, who founded the lodge. Besides being an excellent host, striking a perfect balance of courtesy and friendliness, he is an outstanding naturalist guide. He has a deep knowledge of rainforest biology and is great at spotting animals which are at first invisible to the visitor! On our first afternoon's boat ride down to the lodge along the Cuyabeno River, we encountered no less than six monkey species including squirrel monkeys, monk saki, and titi monkey. Later in the trip we saw other monkeys, parrots, macaws, bats, frogs and endless wondrous bugs.

Kurt's enthusiasm and passion is boundless, especially as we explored the Laguna Grande ("Big Lake"), a unique ecosystem of half-sunken acacia trees, festooned with bromeliads, orchids, arums and other epiphytes. Words cannot do justice to the beauty of this place. You just have to experience it.

The trip includes a visit to local villages where you get an insight into the indigenous people's way of life. Don't expect half-naked Indians in warpaint. These people are acculturated to some extent, although they carry on some traditions, such as harvest of manioc and cooking it into a bread which was excellently demonstrated by one of the village women. We also met with a shaman who spoke of his experiences with various herbal concoctions and his visit to the spirit world facilitated by ayahuasca.

The one slight annoyance of the trip, which is nothing to do with the Tapir Lodge, is the presence of budget campsites a short way down the river. Occasionally their boats would buzz past, so the sense of isolation and remoteness was disrupted. But that is more a concern for the Ecuadorian authorities who want to retain the beauty and pristine nature of this special place. It certainly did not detract from our enjoyment since Tapir Lodge is the last lodge along the river.

Overall this was an outstanding rainforest trip, and well worth the money and effort to reach a relatively remote area. I can't wait to go back!

Room Tip: Ask for the top story rooms if you want to live in the treetops for a few days. Less fit visitors mi...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank RogerHarris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed July 17, 2012 via mobile

My partner and I stayed here for a week and had the time of our lives! Kurt and Timothy were our hosts and they were both fantastic. We learnt so much about the jungle, saw dolphins, anacondas, piranhas, caimen, snakes, bats, tarantulas, monkeys, hundreds of birds, had the pleasure of meeting a shaman and local indigenous families and even got to eat fruit straight from the tree. Kurt and his staff are friendly, helpful, professional and fun. The food was amazing, the beds cosy and the atmosphere was exactly what you would expect from the jungle.
I have travelled to Amazon jungle 4 times and this was just as mind blowing as the previous times. Every area of the amazon is different, this flooded forest was like nowhere else I had seen!
If this experience is not on your 'Bucket List' then WHY NOT! You have to see it to believe it.

Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank Claire D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colombo
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed July 14, 2012

Visiting the Cuyebeño is a good alternative to spending time on the Napo. Much of this area is flooded forest, so most of the excursions are undertaken by canoe – motorised and paddle. During our trip we enjoyed close-up sightings of river dolphins and around eight species of monkey. The accommodation, like the majority of lodges, is rustic but clean and comfortable. The food is unpretentious but wholesome and the staff are friendly. Tapir Lodge certainly offers a good value Amazonian forest experience. We took advantage of the two-night camping option, although our trip was curtailed after the first night (at our request) owing to the adverse weather conditions that made much of the bedding equipment too wet for our comfort.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank David H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed May 1, 2011

Tapir Lodge owner Kurt took us camping deep into the Amazon River Forest where we camped alongside the remote tribe of the Huoaranis. We traveled up the river in a dougout canoe with Kurt and a few hired hands who would cook, set up camp, and provide the five of us with the trip of a lifetime. This is no adventure for the faint of heart. After a couple of days in Quito, we took a small plane into the dense forest where we met up with the natives who rarely see outsiders. They were as curious about us as we were them. We would stay in each location one or two nights, and move on to a new sight. This is the true Amazon Jungle, and very few people will ever experience it that way. Kurt has an unbelievable knowledge of the forest and the indigenous populations there. Without his expertise we could never have had this unique opportunity. Our kids were all teenagers at that time, and we all talk about being able to possibly return someday.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled with family
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Helpful?
5 Thank Doodad48
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Tapir Lodge

Property: Tapir Lodge
Address: Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve, Ecuador
Phone Number:
Location: Ecuador > Sucumbios Province > Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 4 Hotels in Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Tapir Lodge 2.5*
Number of rooms: 22
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in the Reserve of Cuyabeno Wildlife Production,(the place with the highest biodiversity in the world). Tapir Lodge is an hotel with 15 years of tradition, comfort and adventure. Our facilities offer a comfortable and safe stay, with 22 rooms, all have private bathroom and hot water, electricity 24 hrs,insulation in walls and ceilings to minimize the presence of mosquitoes. All tours include transportation from the airport of Lago Agrio to Tapir Lodge and back, all meals, licensed multilingual (Spanish, English and German speaking)naturalist guides,raincoats, live saver and rubber boots. We operate and are specialized in handling small groups to avoid crouds and noise, in order to improve quality in all our tours. We delight our passengers with an excellent international menu, fresh and healthy food. (We also offer a varied vegetarian menu upon request)! ... more   less 
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